5X21 Power Play


Written By: David Fury

 
PROLOGUE:

INT. SECRET CHAMBER - NIGHT
A man is grunting in a dark room. Zoom in to show he's kneeling, wearing
a bag over his head, and being beaten with sticks by a half-dozen robed
men. There is a roaring fire in the doorway in front of the man. Angel watches
this from the other side of the fire, pacing, before he decides to jump
through the fire into the room with the man. As soon as Angel shows up,
the man's attackers back away. Angel goes to the man, helps him to his feet,
and removes the bag from the man's head. Bloodied and weak, with his hands
still tied behind his back, the man looks up at Angel's face, and speaks.
MAN
(whispers) 
Thank you. Thank you.

Holding on to the man's shoulders, Angel stares back at the man, then
changes into vampire face. Angel leans in and bites the man's throat.

Fade to black.
Opening credits.

ACT I:

INT. ANGEL'S APARTMENT - DAY
TITLE: 19 HOURS EARLIER
Angel is lying naked in bed, staring at the ceiling. A blonde woman cuddles
up close to him.
ANGEL
Hey.
NINA
(sighs, wraps her arm across his chest) 
OK. Where did you learn how to do that?
ANGEL
Which part?
NINA
Doesn't matter. How are you?
ANGEL
I'm good.
NINA
(leans up)
You're not perfectly happy, are you? 'Cause I've got my wooden stake
right here. 
(reaches over into her nightstand drawer)
Oh, that's not a stake. 
(continues looking)
I know I brought it—
ANGEL
You're safe.
NINA
(leans back over his chest)
OK. And you? Good? You weren't thinking about your little Roman friend,
or—
ANGEL
Nina, for the last... 
(picks up his wristwatch from the nightstand, looks at it)
whoa.
NINA
Wowee.
ANGEL
For the last... very long moment I haven't had a single coherent thought.

NINA
(beaming)
I'm gonna take that as a compliment.
ANGEL
You really should.
NINA
But now, the brow is back. If she's not on your mind, then...
ANGEL
Oh, there's—there's a lot more than usual going on.
NINA
Work?
ANGEL
Always.
NINA
(rolls over, lies beside him, facing the ceiling)
You should get away. Vacation? You know that word? Go to Cabo, drink
margaritas, midnight skinny-dipping, making love on the beach. 
(rolls over to look into his eyes)
Did you catch how I subtly included myself in your vacation package?

ANGEL
Nina...
NINA
Too pushy, too needy, I never even said it. You should make love on
the beach all by yourself.
ANGEL
It would be wonderful. I mean it.
NINA
But...
ANGEL
(sighs) 
There are— There are things that I have to do. Things that I've
already set in motion that, uh...
(sighs, sits up) 
I know I've spent years fighting to get somewhere... to accomplish
something... and now that I'm close to it... I don't like what I see,
what I am.
NINA
You're a hero.
ANGEL
(softly) 
Oh, that word.
NINA
You're my hero.
ANGEL
I may not always be.

Cut to: INT. HALLWAY AT WOLFRAM & HART - DAY
Illyria walks down the hallway, and no one so much as looks at her as she
passes. As she continues down the hall, Spike addresses her while waiting
outside an office.
SPIKE
Like you're not even there. World trembled before your feet once.
Now... padding around a place you don't want to be in, and the rabble
don't even give you so much as a polite yawn.
ILLYRIA
Do not presume I require any creature's attention.
SPIKE
Wouldn't dream of it, Blue. Still...you can't enjoy haunting this
place. Less than what you were, not knowing what to do with yourself.
Believe me, I've been there.
ILLYRIA
And what do you know of it?
SPIKE
Long and fascinating tale. Ghost story, in fact. Short of it is...
take my advice. Get out once in a while. Before you go bats.
ILLYRIA
Out?
SPIKE
Out. Outside. That place just on the other side of the window.
ILLYRIA
(turns to walk away)
I've grown wary of this world since my powers were depleted. Strange...
though I've been made more human, this place remains disconcerting.

SPIKE
(following her)
Yeah, well, I'm afraid that never goes away. Anyhow, I thought Wesley
was giving you a primer on all things human.
ILLYRIA
He and I are no longer having intercourse.
SPIKE
Y-ah. You wh-what?
ILLYRIA
He has ceased communication with me.
SPIKE
Oh! Oh. Communi—
ILLYRIA
My recent reversion to the Burkle persona disturbed him. And he will
not tell me why.
SPIKE
You don't know? You may not think you're as powerful as you were,
Highness, but looking like Fred, for some of us... it's the most devastating
power you have.

Cut to: INT. LOBBY AT WOLFRAM & HART - DAY
Angel and Gunn walk out of Angel's office into the lobby where Hamilton
is escorting a business woman.
HAMILTON
Ah! There's the man himself. Angel, I'd like you to meet Senator Brucker.

ANGEL
(shaking her hand)
Senator, welcome to Wolfram & Hart.
HAMILTON
Oh, I go way back with this firm, back when Holland Manners was in
charge.
GUNN
I think you'll find things have changed a bit since then. Charles
Gunn. 
(shakes her hand)
HAMILTON
Head of our legal department.
SENATOR
(introducing a well-dressed man standing beside her)
Oh. And this is Ernesto. My personal—
ANGEL
Vampire.
SENATOR
(somewhat taken aback)
Aide. I always forget your kind can sense each other. Well, I believe
in diversity on my staff. 
(points smugly)
It was a big part of my campaign.
GUNN
How commendable.
ANGEL
Harmony, you mind getting us some coffee?
HARMONY
Coming up.
SENATOR
Oh, thank you, no. No coffee. But if it isn't any trouble, I think
Ernesto might like some blood.
ERNESTO
Virgin, if you have it. Room temperature's fine.
HARMONY
Sorry. We have a no human blood policy. I can offer you something
in a rodent. We have some fruity, unassuming vole—
HAMILTON
Oh, I think we could make an exception to our policy this time for
the senator. Couldn't we, Angel?
ANGEL
Harmony, the lab might have something in the blood bank. Why don't
you go check it out?

Gunn glares at Angel. Angel winks at Hamilton, who shows a nod of
approval.
 
HARMONY
OK. You're the boss, boss. 
(starts walking away, but stops and turns to Angel)
Could I maybe just have a teeny, weeny—
ANGEL
No.
HARMONY
Just thought I'd ask. 
(leaves)
HAMILTON
Well, senator, if there's anything you need, please call on me. Rest
assured. You're in good hands. 
(smiles, leaves)
ANGEL
Shall we?

The senator and Ernesto walk with Angel toward his office when Wesley
goes up to Angel carrying a file folder.
 
WESLEY
Angel. There's been another fatality in Funville.
ANGEL
What?
WESLEY
That abandoned amusement park downtown? Third victim in as many nights.
Teeth marks strongly indicate a Boretz demon.

Illyria and Spike are in the lobby now and walk up to Wesley and Angel.

SPIKE
Oh, bloody Boretz. Nasty buggers. Stink to high heaven. Dress as transients
to prey on the homeless, poor sods.

Illyria, staying a few steps back, stares at Wesley.

WESLEY
(to Angel)
This last victim was a teenage girl. A runaway. She was ripped apart.

ANGEL
(shrugs)
Well, there's not much we can do about it now, huh? 
(turns back toward his office)
WESLEY
(steps closer to Angel, an urgent tone in his voice)
Angel, we need to find this demon and destroy it before—
ANGEL
Somebody else dies? Yeah. I know, Wes. People are dying every day
all over. This girl is just one more statistic.
WESLEY
Stacey. 
(looks down)
The statistic's name was Stacey Bluth. 
(holds out a printout)
ANGEL
(takes the printout, peruses it)
Well, you know, we can't save everybody, and we can't sweat the small
stuff. 
(hands the printout back to Wesley, turns to go into his office)
WESLEY
Small?
ANGEL
Wes, I got a United States senator waiting for me, so just find out
whatever you can about this Boretz thing and we'll talk later, OK?
 
(walks away)
WESLEY
(looks at his file)
Small stuff?
SPIKE
Listen, you need some Boretz killing done, I'll have a go. I haven't
had a decent tussle since the blue meanie and I stopped sparring.

Illyria looks at Spike and Wesley, proudly.

WESLEY
Yes. All right. Call me if you find anything. I'll be in my office
learning what I can. 
(walks away)
ILLYRIA
He showed no regard for my presence.
SPIKE
Not that you require any creature's attention. 
(Illyria glares)
Hey, wanna go find something to hit?

Cut to: INT. ANGEL'S OFFICE - DAY
In Angel's office, Angel, Gunn, the Senator and Ernesto watch a video.

TV ANNOUNCER (V.O.)
A Gulf War veteran and Bronze Star recipient, Mike Conley believes
ethics and integrity matter... finding solutions to problems in
our educational system, health and childcare services, and Mike
Conley believes in work... and in home. Your home is his work.
He's looking out for your children's interests.

The video is a patriotic and warm-fuzzy advertisement
for Mike Conley for U.S. Senate. It's a montage of evocative scenes:
soldiers marching in formation, a man preparing to fly a jet,
soldiers hugging each other, a man standing in his back yard looking
skyward, jets flying over in formation, an American flag waving,
the man standing in his back yard is there with his wife, children,
and dog, the wife and daughter are playing Frisbee, the man's
son runs to hug him.

SENATOR
(presses the "stop" button on the video remote and throws
the remote on the table in disgust)
There. So you can see my concern.
ERNESTO
This Conley campaign's a juggernaut. Guy came out of nowhere with
his... "Your home is his work" crap. Women voters are eating
it up.
SENATOR
And they were mine. I had a lock on the chick vote. And now my numbers
are slipping. I didn't claw my way up from hell and get installed
in a human body just to have some pedophile steal my senate seat.

GUNN
Wait—he's a pedophile?
SENATOR
Not yet. But the public better think he is when you guys get through.

GUNN
(angrily)
Pardon me?
SENATOR
Hell, convince Conley he is. You've got some sort of brainwashing
capabilities here, don't you? What's that doctor's name?
ERNESTO
Sparrow.
SENATOR
That's the one. This sounds right up his alley.
GUNN
Yeah, well, it's not up ours. 
(the senator turns to look at Gunn, who is leaning forward, impassioned)
Look, I don't care what kind of services you were used to getting
with this firm, but Holland Manners doesn't live here anymore. We're
not about to ruin a man's life and reputation just so you can—
ANGEL
We can do it.
GUNN
What?
ANGEL
(to the senator, ignoring Gunn)
Not sure how long a reconditioning like that would take.
ERNESTO
The election's in November.
GUNN
You're not seriously considering—
SENATOR
Angel, you just made yourself a very loyal ally in Washington.
GUNN
(stands, incensed)
Angel, we need to talk.
ANGEL
(blowing him off)
I'm with the senator now, Gunn.

Cut to: INT. WESLEY'S OFFICE - DAY
Wesley is in his office, holding a large book and speaking to it.
WESLEY
"Boretz demons: Classifications and case histories." 
(puts the book on his desk, opens it; it fills with dense text)

As Wesley sits at his desk to read the text, the left page blanks
out and shows a new, larger text: "YOU'RE LOOKING IN THE WRONG PLACE."

WESLEY
What am I looking—

The right page of the book then blanks out, now showing a new symbol:
a circle with 8 spurs sticking out, evenly spaced around it. Wesley sits
up straight, staring at the pages when Gunn walks in.

GUNN
We got a serious problem. It's Angel. He's—
WESLEY
(looks up at Gunn)
Hold on. 
(looks back at the pages, but they are back to the dense text from
before and the message has disappeared).
GUNN
Wes?

Cut to: INT. RACQUETBALL COURT - DAY
Dressed in a black t-shirt, black gym pants, a black headband and wristbands,
Angel is playing racquetball against Izzy the red devil, who is all dressed
in white. They hit the ball back and forth until one gets by Izzy.
IZZY
Ah! Hell. Nice one. Did I tell ya... ran into Ed the other day?
ANGEL
Ed?
IZZY
The Grand Potentate whatcha-whosit of the Fell Brethren?
ANGEL
Right. How is Ed?
IZZY
You know the Fells. All they can talk about is the baby. The baby's
doing this now. The baby's doing that. What a wonderful ritual sacrifice
he'll make. Yak, yak, yak. Anyway, couldn't say enough nice things
about you.
ANGEL
Great.
IZZY
You're really comin' through, big guy. There's a real buzz about you.

ANGEL
So how much longer do I have to wait for an answer?
IZZY
Hey, these things take time. Trust me. Won't be long now.

Angel serves the ball and they begin playing again.

Cut to: EXT. FUNVILLE AMUSEMENT PARK - NIGHT
Spike and Illyria walk through an abandoned amusement park at night.
SPIKE
See? This isn't so bad now. Little field trip out in the... well,
what passes in this city for fresh air. All we need now is to bag
ourselves a Boretz demon, we got ourselves a perfect date.
ILLYRIA
Angel does not think the casualties of this creature are important
enough to avenge.
SPIKE
Yeah. I think corporate living's made him lose his love for the hunt.
No worries. More for me then.
ILLYRIA
It does not serve his interest.
SPIKE
What are you on about?
ILLYRIA
I've seen this before with many rulers. Your leader has been corrupted.

SPIKE
(they stop walking)
Hey, hang on. In the first place, Angel's not my leader. In the second,
what the bloody hell do you mean corrupted?
ILLYRIA
It always begins the same. A ruler turns a blind eye to the dealings
of battles from which he cannot gain... and a deaf ear to the counsel
of those closest to him. As his strength increases, so does the separation
between he and his follow—
SPIKE
Shh. 
(looks around)
You smell that?
ILLYRIA
(looks around)
The odors of everything in this world of men are equally repugnant
to me.
SPIKE
Bloody helpful. 
(they continue walking)
You're wrong about Angel. Not that I don't think the sod could end
up being a megalomaniacal bastard. It's just that if he did... I'd
know it. I'd feel it.
ILLYRIA
You'll have proof soon enough. A corrupted ruler on such a path sees
treachery and betrayal all around him. He cannot suffer intimates
and will eventually turn against them.
SPIKE
Guess I don't have to worry about that, 'cause Angel and me have never
been intimate. Except that one...
ILLYRIA
Mark me. He will murder one of you.
DROGYN
(steps out from a hiding place)
Actually, he already has.
SPIKE
Drogyn?
ILLYRIA
(walks forward)
Who is this?
SPIKE
The guardian of the Deeper Well. Greenskeeper of your graveyard, so
to speak.
ILLYRIA
(glares at him)
My jailer.
DROGYN
(squints at her)
Illyria...
SPIKE
(looks above Drogyn)
Boretz.

The Boretz demon jumps down on them, engaging Spike in a powerful
fistfight, ending when the Boretz flings Spike into the power junction
box. Illyria steps up and engages the Boretz as Spike get to his feet.

SPIKE
Stay away from its mouth! It's bite's poisonous.
(gets to his feet)
Go for its knees. I think there's a weak spot— 
(sees that Illyria has kicked the demon forcefully through the large
wooden supports for a roller-coaster)
(impressed)
OK. Yeah! That might do it. 
(walks over to Drogyn)
Drogyn. What the hell are you doing here? Oh, don't give me your "ask
me no questions, I'll tell you no lies" bugaboo.
DROGYN
(straining) 
I came to find you.
SPIKE
Oh, so you tacked up a sign on your tree, waved bye to the Keeblers,
hopped the puddle, and somehow managed to sniff me out in a city of
10 million?
DROGYN
(weakly)
I can find anyone who's visited the well... be they in this world
or any other. I—I came to—to warn you— 
(collapses)
SPIKE
(catches him)
Warn?
ILLYRIA
He's bleeding.
SPIKE
You're all torn up, mate. What did this to you, the Boretz, was it?

DROGYN
No. It was Angel.

Fade to black.

ACT II:

INT. LOBBY OF WOLFRAM & HART - NIGHT
Wesley walks through the lobby toward Angel's office, but detours, stopping
at Harmony's desk. He grabs the sign-in book and draws the circle symbol
he saw earlier.
HARMONY
(leaning forward to see what he's drawing)
That would look good on a calf.
WESLEY
Pardon?
HARMONY
Thinking of getting a tattoo, right? Put a little more "bad"
in your bad boy bank. It should go on your calf.

Puts down his pen, rips out the page he was drawing on, and walks
toward Angel's office.

Cut to: INT. ANGEL'S OFFICE - NIGHT
Wesley walks into Angel's office carrying his drawing.
WESLEY
Angel, something unusual came across one of my... 
(looks up at Angel, who's sitting at his desk talking to Hamilton,
who's sitting on his desk)
Oh, I didn't realize you were occupied. If you don't mind, Hamilton...

ANGEL
Actually, Wes, we're kind of in the middle of something. Why don't
you try me later?
WESLEY
Yes, later, then. 
(walks to the door)
ANGEL
Hey, Wes? 
(Wesley turns)
Shut the door on your way out. 
(Wes exits)

Cut to: INT. LOBBY OF WOLFRAM & HART - NIGHT
When Wesley walks out of Angel's office, Lorne is waiting outside the door.
LORNE
Hey, is Angel in there?
WESLEY
He is. 
(continues walking)
LORNE
(walks with Wes)
What's the weather report?
WESLEY
Cold. Icy, actually.
LORNE
Well, he cut 6 of my clients loose, didn't even tell me. I spent all
day talking them off ledges and out of pill bottles.
WESLEY
I sense that suicidal celebrities are beneath Angel's concern.
LORNE
These are very pretty people I'm talking about here, Wes, 4 of them
getting in shape for Young Guns III.
GUNN
(waiting outside Wes's office)
What did he say?

Cut to: INT. WESLEY'S OFFICE - NIGHT
Wesley, Gunn and Lorne walk into Wesley's office.
WESLEY
(walks toward his desk)
Nothing. He had Hamilton in his office. They're discussing business
strategy. 
(sits at his desk)
GUNN
Hamilton?
LORNE
It's like Angel suddenly started channeling Leona Helmsley.
WESLEY
He's not himself, at any rate.
GUNN
What's happening to him?
WESLEY
(telephone rings, he answers) 
Yes? Spike.

Cut to: INT. SPIKE'S BASEMENT APARTMENT - NIGHT
Drogyn is sitting on the couch while Spike sits on an end table nearby.
Illyria stands opposite of them while Drogyn fills in Wesley, Gunn and Lorne
on the situation.
DROGYN
It was a Sathari... part of a clan of demon assassins. They fell upon
me last night. The poison from his 4 blades wearing heavy on my limbs.

SPIKE
Yeah, rousing bit of rah-rah, mate. Get to the goods.
DROGYN
Once I bested him, I tortured the Sathari for hours until he confessed
who had sent him. It was Angel.
SPIKE
Tell 'em why.
DROGYN
He said Angel was afraid I'd find something in the Deeper Well, something
that would uncover the truth about his involvement.
GUNN
In what?
DROGYN
Helping Illyria escape from her tomb.
WESLEY
I thought the release of her sarcophagus from the Deeper Well was
predestined.
SPIKE
Yeah, what about that bit?
DROGYN
Well, that's what I thought at the time, but now I believe... Illyria's
resurrection may have been planned.
GUNN
By Angel.
LORNE
Oh, that doesn't make a lick of sense. I mean, why would Angel want
to spring an old one?
DROGYN
I don't think that was the point.
GUNN
Then what was?
DROGYN
Before he died, the assassin said something about a sacrifice... someone
trusted and dear.
WESLEY
Are you saying that Angel was responsible for what happened to Fred?

DROGYN
He may not have chosen her specifically, but—
LORNE
Whoa! Let's put a kibosh on that sentence before it turns into an
ass-kickin'.
DROGYN
Do you think I gain pleasure in this? I held Angel an ally, a brother.

WESLEY
And you believe he may have murdered Fred?
DROGYN
I know this is difficult for you, but Angel was involved. The information
retrieved from the assassin—
GUNN
(angrily)
You ever think maybe he was lying?
DROGYN
No one lies when they're at the mercy of my wrath.
GUNN
Then you're the liar, Aragorn.
SPIKE
He has to tell the truth. It's a curse or something.
GUNN
How can we be sure? We don't even know this guy.
WESLEY
Gunn, this is Drogyn, the battlebrand, given eternal youth a thousand
years ago. Demonbane, truthsayer... 
(Drogyn nods, Wes looks down)
Watchers' Council.
SPIKE
Percy did a paper. Bully on him.
WESLEY
(unfolds his drawing)
Drogyn... any idea what this symbol means?
DROGYN
No.
SPIKE
(grabs the drawing)
Where'd you get that?
WESLEY
This afternoon, someone tapped into the template interface. Sent a
message to me, and that symbol. Somebody's dropping clues.
GUNN
Playing games is more like it.
LORNE
Well, put me on the short bus, but I still can't wrap my head around
the notion that Angel has anything to do with Fred or any of this.

WESLEY
Angel's been doing a number of things out of character lately. We
all noticed it.
LORNE
Yeah, but why is this happening now? Why the change?
WESLEY
Yes, why the sudden need to tie up loose ends like Drogyn? Unless...

ILLYRIA
(standing in the background)
He's preparing to make his move.
GUNN
What kind of move are we talking about?
WESLEY
There's only one way to find out. We ask him. 
(Wes, Gunn and Lorne walk toward the door; Spike follows)
Drogyn should stay here under guard.
SPIKE
I'm not missing the fireworks. Hey, Illyria, you don't care about
any of this nonsense, do you?
ILLYRIA
The intricacies of your fates are meaningless.
SPIKE
(Wes rolls his eyes and exits)
Well and good. You mind watching over our friend Drogyn? Aw, come
on. New place'll do you good. It's nice and cozy. Help yourself to
some beer in the fridge. Switch on the telly if you get bored. 
(hands her video game controls)
And, uh, feel free to play a little Crash Bandicoot. Give you lot
something to pass the time. 
(walks out)
ILLYRIA
(looks at Spike)
Crash Bandicoot? 
(looks at the controls; Drogyn looks confused)
Cut to: INT. LOBBY OF WOLFRAM & HART - NIGHT
Angel is standing at Harmony's desk reviewing a contract.
ANGEL
(crossing out something on the contract)
Strike these 4 clauses and wire it back to them. See what they make
of that.
HARMONY
Yeah! See what they make of that.
WESLEY
(walks up to Angel with Lorne, Gunn, and Spike)
Angel...
ANGEL
(looks at the 4 of them)
Long dinner?
WESLEY
We need to talk to you. Now. 
(walks toward Angel's office)
GUNN
Boy's dead serious. 
(follows Wes)
SPIKE
(to Angel, who hasn't moved)
You coming, then?

Cut to: INT. ANGEL'S OFFICE - NIGHT
Wesley, Gunn, Lorne and Spike confront Angel in his office.
ANGEL
OK, what's on your minds?
LORNE
The question is what's on yours?
SPIKE
Our friend Drogyn's in town.
ANGEL
Is he?
SPIKE
Yeah. A bit marked up, though. Somebody tried to have him killed.
Know anything about that?
ANGEL
Of course not. Where is he?
GUNN
He's safe.
ANGEL
Good. Now, can we get back to business, or was there something else?

WESLEY
"Business"? What business are we in, Angel?
ANGEL
Do I really have to explain this to you people? We're in the business
of business. Oil, software, worldwide wickets. The product doesn't
matter. It's the game that matters. Get to the top, be the best, have
the most, win.
WESLEY
Win what?
ANGEL
You're still missin' the point. 
(walks toward his desk)
GUNN
That Angel talking? 'Cause it sounds a lot more like Angelus.
ANGEL
Oh, if I were Angelus, half of you would already be dead, just for
the fun of it. 
(sits on the edge of his desk)
SPIKE
One of us already is. We havin' fun yet?
ANGEL
You want to know the truth? The truth is there's only one of us who
ever understood how things really work. Lorne.
LORNE
Whoa. Hey, hey, hey. Can I not be the poster child for your nervous
breakdown here?
ANGEL
You didn't judge. You didn't spend your life obsessed with good and
evil. You do that, you get swallowed, lost in the minutia. Good, bad,
Angel, Angelus— None of it makes a difference. I wish it did, but,
you know, an ant with the best intentions or the most diabolical schemes
is just exactly an ant. There is one thing in this business, in this
apocalypse that we call a world that matters: Power. Power tips the
scale, power sets the course, and until I have real power, global
power, I have nothing. I accomplish nothing.
WESLEY
And how you get this power...
ANGEL
Isn't pretty. Isn't fun. 
(stands, walks up to Wesley)
You think it's Wolfram & Hart getting to me here, and maybe you're
right, because they've shown us what power is. From day one, they've
been calling the shots, and all we've done is get shot at. I have
a chance to change that.
LORNE
And will you? I mean, not to play an old saw, but power does traditionally
corrupt. You get high up enough, and, well, the people, they do start
to look like ants.
ANGEL
I can't worry about that... the small stuff.
HARMONY
(walks into the office)
Angel, that important phone call from... 
(smiles nervously)
that guy about that thing, it's on line 3. 
(walks out)
ANGEL
We're done here. I have to take this. 
(they file out)
SPIKE
Yeah, the guy about the thing.
WESLEY
(stops on his way out)
The small stuff that you can't worry about, would that include Fred?

ANGEL
I loved Fred.
WESLEY
That's not an answer.
ANGEL
Then I guess you don't get one.

Fade to black.

ACT III:

INT. INTERROGATION ROOM - NIGHT
Wesley stands by the 2-way mirror on the wall of a prison interrogation
room. Lorne is in the room with him, staring at the floor.
WESLEY
There's got to be something behind all this. A reason. It could be
a ploy. For God's sake, say something.
LORNE
What would you like me to say? Tell you that Angel loved Fred, and
that in an eon of eons, he would never harm her in any way? I wish
I could, Wes, but if he believes what he's saying, and I believe he
does...
WESLEY
It doesn't make any sense. Angel never cared about power.
LORNE
Well, he's never had any to care about, has he? Not real power, even
as Angelus, and then just like that, he's king of the mountain. It's
quite a view from up there. Tends to make people want things. Even
if they start with the best intentions, Angel's seen real power, and
he's not looking away. He's gonna go for it, Wes.

Gunn and Spike throw the door open, bringing in a man in shackles.
It's Lindsey.

LINDSEY
(grinning)
You boys look like you could use a hug. 
(gestures with his arms wide, but Gunn and Spike grab his arms)

Cut to: EXT. SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF ART & DESIGN - NIGHT
Nina walks out of the building towards the parking lot when Angel calls
out to her.
ANGEL
Nina.
NINA
(smiles, walks up to him)
Angel, hey. 
(hugs and kisses him)
Well, this is a nice surprise. Everything OK?
ANGEL
Can we sit down? 
(points to a park bench)
NINA
(they sit; Angel hands her an envelope)
Plane tickets? I don't believe it. We're getting away? This is...
but I thought you didn't have time to... Oh, wait. There are 3 tickets
here. We taking a chaperone? 
(looks closer at the names on the tickets)
My sister and Amanda?
ANGEL
I need you to be out of here.
NINA
That's typical. You sleep with a guy and he sends your entire family
out of the country. No, wait, that's actually not that typical at
all. You couldn't just not call?
ANGEL
It's not safe here.
NINA
Is it ever? I want to be with you if there's trouble.
ANGEL
You don't want to be with me. You don't want to be near me.
NINA
Because I might get hurt?
ANGEL
'Cause I'm the thing that'll hurt you.
NINA
(holds up the tickets)
What do you call this?
ANGEL
How can I convince you that I want to be with you?
NINA
Show me a fourth ticket.
ANGEL
(sighs, looks away, then back)
OK. If I get through this... intact... I'll come for you. We'll...have
time.
NINA
(laughs, looks into his eyes)
You're the most amazing man I've ever met, but you're a crappy liar.

ANGEL
Go. I'm not asking.
NINA
I'll go. Why on Earth would I stay?

Nina gets her things together and walks off.

Cut to: INT. SPIKE'S BASEMENT APARTMENT - NIGHT
Illyria and Drogyn sit beside each other on Spike's couch, playing the video
game.
DROGYN
It is a test, a task of some sort. You must collect those crystals.
And the fruit.
ILLYRIA
Why?
DROGYN
Old one... you have no right to walk this Earth. Your time is past.
You belong to the well.
ILLYRIA
Truly. I wish now I had never been brought out of it.
DROGYN
Do you?
ILLYRIA
I don't know. I play this game... it's pointless and annoys me...
and yet, I'm compelled to play on. Does that not—

Someone busts down the door to the apartment. Drogyn and Illyria stand,
alarmed. It's Hamilton.

HAMILTON
(dusts himself off)
Well, looky, looky who's making friends.
DROGYN
Marcus.
HAMILTON
Dro, how have you been?
ILLYRIA
You're acquainted with this creature?
HAMILTON
Yes. We go way back, don't we?
DROGYN
Too far.
HAMILTON
Hmm, the good old days. So I hear you're living in a tree now.
DROGYN
The tree is the entrance to the Deeper Well. I live in a cave. It's
really quite pleasant.
HAMILTON
I'm sure it's a peach. Afraid you won't be returning to it again.

ILLYRIA
(walks up to Hamilton)
You will not harm him.
HAMILTON
Oh, you mean like this? 
(throws Drogyn forcefully into the wall behind him)

Illyria starts fighting Hamilton, but she's no match for him. He isn't
fazed by her punches and kicks. He tosses her into a wall across the room.
She gets back to her feet.

HAMILTON
Hang on, Dro, this'll just take a second.

Illyria goes for Hamilton once again. They fight, Illyria giving her
all, but Hamilton barely uses any effort.

HAMILTON
I gotta tell ya, I'm a little disappointed. 
(punches her hard in the face, then in the stomach)
Didn't think a big, scary old one bled this easily. 
(as she doubles over in pain, he hits her hard in her back, knocking
her to the ground)
Maybe it's this skinny, little body you chose to infect. 
(picks her up and punches her in the face)
Or maybe it's that ray gun they shot you with to keep you from exploding.
 
(punches her in the face again)
Or maybe... 
(punches her again)
you're...
(punches her again)
just... 
(punches her again)
not...that... 
(punches her again)
cool! 
(lets her drop to the ground, unconscious and bloody)
Yes, that's probably it. 
(steps on her face)

Cut to: INT. INTERROGATION ROOM - NIGHT
Lindsey is sitting at the table, surrounded by Spike, Gunn, Lorne and Wesley.
LINDSEY
So what are you gonna do? You gonna beat it out of me?
SPIKE
(smirks)
If you say so. 
(walks toward Lindsey)
(Lindsey springs to his feet confrontationally)
GUNN
(steps between Spike and Lindsey)
We all know how this goes. 
(shoves Lindsey back into the chair)
Spike beats you to a bloody pulp, you beg for mercy, and we get what
we came for.
LORNE
Who needs all that rigmarole?
LINDSEY
I told you, I don't know why Angel gave up that kid. Or anything else.
Me and him, not too close. I gotta get back to my game of Solitaire.
 
(Wesley shows him his drawing)
Where'd you get that?
WESLEY
It doesn't matter. What does it mean?
LINDSEY
(chuckles)
Is that what all this is about? All these questions about Angel. 
(looks at the drawing)
No. No way. No way they'd take Angel.
SPIKE
Who they?
LINDSEY
The Circle of the Black Thorn.
LORNE
Sounds like a little sewing club for pirates.
LINDSEY
It's a secret society.
GUNN
Never heard of them.
LINDSEY
That's 'cause they're secret. 
(Gunn smirks)
SPIKE
There's plenty of these cabals about. They usually spend a lot of
time in basements paddling one another's bums to prove their manhood.

LINDSEY
These are not frat boys, Spike. The circle's small. It's elite. They
got connections you boys can't even comprehend.
WESLEY
They're evil.
LINDSEY
Sure. But evil's not the point. Power is.
WESLEY
Power.
GUNN
OK, we get it. They're bad ass. What do they do?
LINDSEY
(snickers)
Jeez. Are you guys always this slow? Huh? Starts with an "a,"
ends in "pocalypse." It's a well-oiled machine, this circle.
These people grease the wheels, keep the parts in place. Make sure
man's inhumanity to man keeps rolling along.
WESLEY
We thought the senior partners were responsible for the apocalypse.

LINDSEY
The senior partners are on a different plane. Down here...it's the
players in the circle that make things happen. Hell, you get tapped
by one of them, it's kind of like getting the keys to the chocolate
factory.
WESLEY
That's why you came back to L.A., tried to kill Angel. To get into
the circle. 
(sits across from Lindsey)
LINDSEY
To be a Black Thorn is to be the senior partners' instrument on Earth.
Doesn't get bigger than that.
GUNN
Looks like Angel succeeded where you failed.
LINDSEY
He doesn't have it in him.
WESLEY
Doesn't have what in him?
LINDSEY
Well, for starters, he's gotta give up the champion angle. Quit saving
girls in alleys. Probably wouldn't even make it on the circle's radar
until he killed one of his lieutenants. 
(Wes, Spike, Gunn and Lorne look at each other, alarmed)
LORNE
The senior partners, the Circle, they're killing Angel by degrees.

WESLEY
(hangs his head)
And we all watched it happen.
GUNN
The guy I knew wouldn't want this. Wouldn't wanna be this.
WESLEY
Angel dedicated his life to helping others, not because he had to,
but because it was a path he'd chosen. 
(stands)
If he's been swayed from that, influenced... then maybe there's still
time. We can bring him back. He'd do the same for any of us, regardless
of our actions.
LORNE
And what if he's skipped too far down that evil brick road?

Cut to: INT. SECRET CHAMBER - NIGHT
Angel walks through a dark hallway into a chamber. He's standing in front
of a raging fire in a doorway. He can hear a man being beaten on the other
side. Angel leaps through the fire to the chamber on the other side. He
sees a kneeling man being beaten by robed men with sticks. Angel pulls the
beaten man to his feet, pulls off the bag over his head, and looks into
the bloodied face of Drogyn.
DROGYN
Thank you. Thank you.

Angel vamps out and bites Drogyn in the neck as robed and masked men
look on. Angel drinks Drogyn's blood as Drogyn moans painfully. Angel
steps back and twists Drogyn's head until his neck breaks. Angel pushes
Drogyn's body to the floor.

Fade to black.

ACT IV:

INT. SECRET CHAMBER - NIGHT
A robed, masked demon's red hand glows with a fiery symbol in its palm.
The demon reaches out to Angel's bared chest and presses his palm over Angel's
heart, branding him.
DEMON
The circle entwined.
GROUP
(chanting a response)
Embrace this worthy son.
DEMON
The thorn draws blood.
GROUP
(chanting a response)
The thorn is the power, and the power is absolute.
DEMON
(offers his hand to Angel)
Welcome to the fold. 
(Angel shakes hands)

The lights go up in the room, and the robed demons remove their masks.
Many of the demons Angel has encountered this season are there, including
Archduke Sebassis, Cyvus Vail, Sentaor Brucker, and others. There's applause.

VAIL
Well done, Angel.
DEMON / IZZY
(the ceremony's leader takes off his mask)
See? Didn't I tell you it was gonna happen? And how about that lamb
we got you for the slaughter, any idea who that was?
ANGEL
(buttoning his shirt)
Drogyn. The battlebrand.

A man brings Angel and Izzy champagne flutes.

IZZY
Damn straight. We got you some supercharged warrior juice, not some
schmuck. You must feel great. 
(clinks glasses with Angel; they drink champagne)
OK, let me introduce you around to a few people. Some of these folks
you know, some you don't. Of course, you're acquainted with the Archduke.

SEBASSIS
Kudos, child. I must say, it's gratifying to see you've returned to
form, Angelus.
ANGEL
It's still Angel.
SEBASSIS
Ah. Well, what's in a name, eh? In the spirit of our new alliance,
you must allow me to throw a dinner party in your honor.
ANGEL
You know how I love parties. 
(tips his glass toward Sebassis, drinks)
SENATOR
It's nice to see you again so soon, Angel.
ANGEL
Senator. I had no idea you were so well...connected.
SENATOR
Well, I'm not gonna take the White House in 2008 on just my sparkling
wit and funding from hostile governments. 
(chuckles)
ANGEL
(chuckles)
I expect not.
IZZY
Excuse us, Helen. Angel, I've got someone here who'd like to pay his
respects.
ANGEL
Vail.
VAIL
You've been looking for me.
ANGEL
Actually, I've been looking like I'm looking for you. Appearances,
you know. 
(Vail laughs, wheezing)
IZZY
See, Cyvus?, I told you it was all good. Now why don't you two shake
hands? Come on.
VAIL
No hard feelings then?
ANGEL
Ultimately, everything worked out for the best.
VAIL
Oh. Your son, he kills quite well.
ANGEL
Thanks.
IZZY
Got a great turnout for your initiation.
ANGEL
Really?
IZZY
Oh, yeah. Everybody's here. Here, let me freshen that up. 
(takes Angel's drink)

Angel looks around the room, noting the other members.

Cut to: INT. LOBBY AT WOLFRAM & HART - DAY
Angel walks off the elevator, rubbing his branded chest, and heads straight
for his office.

Cut to: INT. ANGEL'S OFFICE - DAY
Angel walks into his office without closing the door. The door closes itself,
revealing Gunn standing behind it. Spike catches Angel off-guard and punches
him in the face, sending him to the ground. Wesley and Lorne walk out of
the conference room. They are surrounding Angel now, each armed: Gunn with
a sword, Spike with his fists, Wesley with a shotgun, and Lorne with a crossbow.
SPIKE
You might wanna stay down.
ANGEL
Or what? Careful. 
(gets to his feet)
You don't wanna get yourselves hurt.
GUNN
We know what you've been doing. Giving up the baby to the Fell Brethren,
working for Senator Bitch, trying to take out Drogyn to cover up what
you did to Fred. And for what? To get in bed with the Circle of the
Black Thorn?
ANGEL
So you figured it out.
LORNE
Yeah, a little singing from a jailbird we know... and loathe.
ANGEL
Lindsey? 
(scoffs)
And you believed him.
SPIKE
Doesn't have a reason to lie.
ANGEL
Doesn't need one.
WESLEY
Unlike you?
ANGEL
What I do here is my business. You don't like how I conduct it, you
can leave... before I kill you.
WESLEY
Kill us? Hard to believe we're having trouble trusting you.
ANGEL
Just telling it like it is.
WESLEY
(cocks his shotgun)
Then we have a problem.
ANGEL
I guess we do.

Angel grabs the shotgun barrel and pushes it away from him while kicking
Wesley to the ground. Spike charges Angel, but Angel punches him first.
Gunn raises his sword, but Angel blocks his swing and hits him in the
head with the barrel of the shotgun. Lorne points his crossbow at Angel
and fires a shot, hitting Angel in the shoulder. Angel drops the shotgun.
Wesley pulls a pistol out of his belt, but Angel kicks it out of his hand
before he can fire it. Angel grabs Lorne around the neck and holds him
as a hostage.

ANGEL
Are we done?
WESLEY
Let him go.
ANGEL
You don't give the orders. Lorne, pull this thing out of me. 
(Lorne reaches for the arrow sticking out of Angel's shoulder)
Easy. Not in a great mood. 
(Lorne pulls out the arrow)
Good. Now, let's finish this. 
(pulls a crystal out of his pocket, holds it out in front of him)
Involvere. 
(the crystal glows and sends a force throughout the entire room)
(lets go of Lorne)
All right, we have 6 minutes.
SPIKE
'Til what?
ANGEL
The glamour collapses. As far as anyone outside this room is concerned,
we're still at each other's throats.
WESLEY
Aren't we?
ANGEL
Look, we don't have a lot of time here, so I'm gonna have to make
this short. Everything you think you know, everything you've heard,
is a lie.
GUNN
Why should we believe you?
ANGEL
Because I'm the one who told it. Read any good books lately?
WESLEY
You sent us the message?
ANGEL
And the assassin to kill Drogyn.
SPIKE
So that part was true.
ANGEL
I knew Drogyn could handle himself. I told the assassin just enough
to lead Drogyn to think I played a part in resurrecting Illyria. I
figured he'd come here looking for allies against me.
WESLEY
Why would you want us to believe you killed Fred?
ANGEL
Because they needed to believe it.
GUNN
The Black Thorn.
ANGEL
They needed to believe my own people didn't trust me anymore. They
needed to believe a person as good and as pure as Drogyn considered
me an enemy. It was the only way to gain their confidence.
LORNE
(holding his sore neck)
Oh, so this whole evil Angel thing has been a big scamola. Hmm. I
smell Oscar.
SPIKE
When did this all start?
ANGEL
2 months ago. With a kiss.

Cut to: INT. ANGEL'S OFFICE - NIGHT
Flashback to Cordelia's good-bye kiss.
ANGEL
Though it didn't hit me till later that night.

Cut to: INT. ANGEL'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Angel gasps as he awakens from a vision. His vision showed him
the symbol of the Black Thorn as well as flashes of a fiery
apocalypse.

WESLEY
Cordelia gave you her visions?
ANGEL
(walks around the room; the others are still tense, on guard)
One-shot deal. She put me on the path, showed me where the real powers
are. But I couldn't see who they were. Then, when Fred died, I wasn't
gonna let that be another random horrible event in another random
horrible world. So I decided to use it, to make her death matter.
And it worked. I'm in. I've seen the faces of evil. I know who the
real powers in the apocalypse are.
GUNN
So, all that power tilts the scales crap...?
ANGEL
It's true. We're in a machine. That machine's gonna be here long after
our bodies are dust. But the senior partners will always exist in
one form or another because mankind is weak.
LORNE
Uh, do you want me to point my crossbow at him, 'cause I think he's
gonna start talking about ants again.
ANGEL
We are weak. The powerful control everything... except our will to
choose. Look, Lindsey's a pathetic halfwit, but he was right about
one thing. Heroes don't accept the way the world is. The senior partners
may be eternal, but we can make their existence painful.
WESLEY
You wanna take them on.
ANGEL
We're in a machine. The Black Thorn runs it. We can bring their gears
to a grinding halt, even if it's just for a moment.
SPIKE
About time we got our hands dirty.
ANGEL
This isn't a keep-fightin'- the-good-fight kind of deal. Let's be
clear. I'm talking about killing every... single...member... of the
Black Thorn. We don't walk away from that.
LORNE
Do we crawl away, at least?
ANGEL
We do this, the senior partners will rain their full wrath. They'll
make an example of us. I'm talking full-on hell, not the basic fire-and-brimstone
kind we're used to.
GUNN
We know the drill.
ANGEL
No, you don't. 10-to-1, we're gone when the smoke clears. They will
do everything in their power to destroy us. So...I need you to be
sure. Power endures. We can't bring down the senior partners, but
for one bright, shining moment, we can show them that they don't own
us. You need to decide for yourselves if that's worth dying for. I
can't order you to do this. I can't do it without you. So we'll vote.
As a team. Think about what I'm asking you to do, think about what
I'm asking you to give.
SPIKE
Kill 'em all... burn the house down while we're still in it.
ANGEL
Something like that.
Everyone's got a serious look on their faces.
SPIKE
Huh. 
(raises his hand)
I'm in.
WESLEY
(looks at Angel)
I'm in.

As the camera zooms out slowly, show Gunn and finally Lorne raise
their hands. Continue zooming out past the glamour, to show what those
on the outside looking in would see:

SPIKE
Drop it!
WESLEY
Angel, you don't want it to go like this!
ANGEL
You're not the boss around here.
GUNN
Lorne, you all right?
LORNE
Wes, help...
SPIKE
Angel, we got 3 people here. Drop it!

Continue zooming out to show that Marcus Hamilton is standing outside
Angel's office, watching them through the window. 

Fade to black.